The doctrine of grace creates a culture of grace

  10 quotes from Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ by Ray Ortlund: Gospel doctrine creates a gospel culture. The doctrine of grace creates a culture of grace. When the doctrine is clear and the culture is beautiful, that church will be powerful. But there are no shortcuts to getting there. Without the doctrine, the culture will be weak. Without the culture, the doctrine will seem pointless (21). Every one of us is wired to lean one way or the other—toward emphasizing doctrine or culture. Some of us naturally resonate with truth and standards and definitions. Others of us resonate with feel and vibe and relationships. Whole churches, too, can emphasize one or the other. Left to ourselves, we will get it partly wrong, but we won’t feel wrong, because we’ll be partly right. But only partly. Truth without grace is harsh and ugly. Grace without truth is sentimental and cowardly. The living Christ is full of grace

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Your church is where Jesus wants to show his beauty

Ray Ortlund: Today is the launch of my new book, The Gospel: How The Church Portrays The Beauty of Christ, part of the 9Marks series on Building Healthy Churches. The biblical gospel is not only a doctrine on paper, not only a theological flag to salute. The gospel also creates a relational environment, an ethos of beauty, an experience of humaneness. In other words, gospel doctrine creates a gospel culture. In this new kind of community, which only the gospel can create, desperate sinners coming to Christ have nothing to fear. They are finally safe. They can open up about what’s really going on in their lives. They can find healing for the past and hope for the future. This new kind of church feels like heaven on earth. And the way to get there is not by slick packaging but by gospel rebuilding. It’s what the doctrine is for – building a new kind of community to compel the

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Nullifying the grace of God

Ray Ortlund: I do not nullify the grace of God. Galatians 2:21 “What eloquence is able sufficiently to set forth these words: ‘to nullify grace,’ ‘the grace of God,’ also that ‘Christ died for no purpose’? The horribleness of it is such that all the eloquence in the world is not able to express it. It is a small matter to say that any man died for no purpose. But to say that Christ died for no purpose is to take him quite away.” Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians, on Galatians 2:21. Paul asserted that he did not nullify the grace of God. By implication, Peter was nullifying the grace of God when his conduct was “not in step with the truth of the gospel” (Galatians 2:14). How on earth did Peter do that, and is there any chance we could do that again today? With Paul, Peter believed the gospel at the level of doctrine. Speaking for Peter and

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